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Messages - dadohead

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Software & Accessories / Re: Reco Config for Mac Pro (2013)
« on: January 03, 2014, 11:44:23 AM »
The authoritative review:

My takeaway? Don't get too worked up about the GPUs. They won't do much for you for quite awhile. The new Mac Pro is a demonstration machine for FCPX.

Software & Accessories / Re: Scanners
« on: April 30, 2013, 09:57:44 PM »
I have an Epson V700 and a Nikon 9000. Frankly, the V700 is worthless for film. But I suppose if you never saw a Nikon 8000 or 9000 scan side by side with a V700, you could be satisfied with the V700 output. Used Nikon scanners can be had on eBay; in the case of the 9000 for over a thousand more than I paid for it new in 2004. They run about $3000 used. $4000+ NIB. The 5000s run around $1750. (The 8000 and 9000 series scan 2.25" wide film as well as 35mm; the 4000 and 5000 scan 35mm only.) If you're shooting medium format, you'll want the glass carrier as well. That runs about $350-400. The biggest problem you'll run into is the lack of drivers for current operating systems. If you're running XP you can probably get the old NikonScan driver to work. Anything newer, and you're using VueScan, a remarkable piece of software that is loved by some and hated by many. If you learn to use it correctly, you can get some great results. Don't bother with SilverFast. Also, the 9000 is Firewire only. I think the 5000 is USB.

Be prepared, however; when you put a digital capture on the screen beside even a Nikon 5000 or 9000 scan, you're in for a rude awakening. A frame from a 5D III will blow the best Nikon scan out of the water, and make the V700 scans look positively sick. No amount of wet mounting will fix the inherent problems of using a flatbed for film. But, if it suits you, the price is definitely right. You could always pay to get better quality scans of the keepers later. Also, be advised; scanning film is mind-numbingly boring. Like darkroom work, you spend the majority of your time battling dust.

You're going to need something that supports CUDA. Premiere Pro and AE are both accelerated greatly by NVIDIA cards. Now, you can get a boost with AMD cards via OpenCL with Mac Mountain Lion if you know how to hack it, but CUDA's definitely the way to go.

If you ask some of the Adobe video people privately what kind of system you should get, they'll tell you unequivocally a PC, even though they frequently demo on a Mac. Apple has historically specced older parts in their systems, especially the video cards. Ask any Mac Pro user about their video cards and hear the teeth gnash. The current Mac Pro has a 5870 as the top-of-the-line card. That card is nearly 4 years old! More and more of the heavy lifting in video systems is being done by the GPU, and less and less by the processors. Having a box you can switch out the graphics cards on future-proofs your purchase. With any PP or AE installation, a buttload of RAM and a hot GPU will be your best friends. And that's even truer for Resolve. 

As to FCPX; yeah, they fixed some stuff, but there's still no audio mixer and it has the organizational ethos of iTunes, which is to say it has no organizational ethos. All I know is that Adobe has tremendous outreach to editing groups, they listen to users, they implement user's suggestions, and they're very invested in creating the best suite of tools for video professionals possible. Apple? Apple doesn't listen to anybody.

Premiere Pro is really nice and the integration with AE is spectacular. Stick with it.

Canon General / Re: Best Lightroom 4 Book ?
« on: January 23, 2013, 01:46:27 PM »
I've tried Lynda, George Jardine and Martin Evening. Martin Evening hands down.

Portrait / Re: Ruined photo, or rescue opportunity?
« on: October 11, 2012, 02:48:01 PM »
This is where a mastery of Photoshop comes into play. You can only do this kind of retouching with layers in PS. You then create layers and adjust them to whatever level of realism looks best to you. Each layer attacks some part of the problem. Some small amount of retouching in the darker areas around the right eye to create a new eyelid and roll off some of the shadow above the right brow. Total time in PS: less than 5 minutes. More time, more layers, better job. Good luck

Mac Pro 8-core 3.2 (5400)
32 Gigs RAM
3TB Black Caviar boot
3TB Samsung array (3x1)
ATI 5870 Video Card
27" Apple Cinema (2560x1440)
24" Apple Cinema (1920x1200)
Wacom tablet
i1Pro II Spectro

I've worked with digital data of all kinds for many years. I only "bake in" settings at the very last step with a copy of the master file. With JPEG, you're baking them in right at the get go. Not only that, but you're letting the camera bake them in. Looked at another way, any RAW photos you take today could benefit in the future from improved processing algorithms, and they are certain to improve. The JPEGs? Not so much future benefit.

You shoot RAW and you're future-proofing your work at the small expense of very, very cheap disk drives and some extra time in front of the computer. I believe that is a small price to pay if you value your work.

Lenses / Re: Canon 50mm f1.2 lens - Your opinions???
« on: March 12, 2012, 11:19:28 PM »
I can't speak to the 1.4, but I love my 1.2. But, it is also a heart-breaker. On a 5DII focus is hit and miss. I have much better luck when it's on single point Servo on a 1DIV. There are a few caveats: wide open and up close tends to be a tad soft under the best circumstances. It's very flattering for portraits in that way. The depth of field is so shallow at 1.2 that your breathing can move the focus in and out; technique is paramount. It has field curvature, so recomposing after focus is haphazard. If you think you're going to be blazing away with it doing street work, you will be disappointed. It's a somewhat "contemplative" lens. CA can be wicked, especially in backlit situations. Finally, there is a back focusing issue when stopped down.

I would urge anyone to read this before buying:

Roger pretty much nails the pros and cons of the lens, and if you do buy the lens it's a good primer to help you skip a lot of the frustration that quickly sours people on the lens. The 1.2 is a cruel mistress, but when it works there is no other lens like it.

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